Vampire Monday: Jeanne C. Stein
My name is Jeanne Stein and I write about vampires. I can tell you exactly why vampires have always resonated with me—it’s the idea of immortality.
If you write about vampires, immortality is a subject you give a lot of thought. It goes with the territory. Besides needing to drink blood to survive, the one constant in all vampire mythos is eternal life. In fact, it’s what distinguishes vampires from other supernatural creatures—while a werewolf, for instance, emphasizes what is mortal in us—primal urges—a vampire emphasizes what is immortal—never ending life.
As I get older, the thought of immortality sounds better and better. For the first time in my life, I may have more years behind me than ahead of me. It’s scary. I think back on all that’s happened in my lifetime. Wonders of space and technology, both for good and bad, are opening up new frontiers. Who wouldn’t want to be around for a hundred or a thousand more years to see what will be accomplished?
But at what cost?
Here’s the downside of immortality.
My protagonist, Anna Strong, a newly turned vampire, has a human family. She was turned by accident and trick of fate. Now she deals with the ramifications. She knows she will have to face the loss of everyone she has ever known and loved. Can she ever regain the warmth of a family? Or will her existence be reduced to mere survival?
As a vampire, as a woman, Anna seeks satisfying relationships, sometimes with other vampires. But vampires more often seek relationships with humans and not just as a convenient food source. Perhaps vampires recognize that having a finite life span enables mortals to have deeper, more meaningful relationships than immortals with unbounded lives.
Can vampires fall in love? Can they really care for each other? Power and control are part of the makeup of a vampire. Does being forced to associate with such beings make eternal life more of a curse than a blessing?
By her nature, Anna cannot have children and can’t contribute to future generations. Because she has a soul and a moral compass, will she seek then to dedicate herself to fighting evil? To use her strength to make the world a better place? Will this be her way to leave a mark on a world that will never recognize or acknowledge her? Can she be content to live forever in the shadows?
Which is the question I put to you today. Yes or no. Would you accept the “gift” of immortality? Or is the price too high?
Jeanne Stein is the National bestselling author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Anna Strong Chronicles. She lives in Denver where she is active in the writing community, belonging to Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. In 2008 she was named RMFW's Writer of the Year and in 2009, her character, Anna Strong, received a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Best Urban Fantasy Protagonist. The seventh in the Anna Strong series, Crossroads, will be released on August 30. She has numerous short story credits, as well, most recently the Anna Strong Novella, Blood Debt, in the Berkley New York Times best selling anthology, Hexed.